Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the “naked Prince Harry photos” scandal has been how quickly Buckingham Palace put him on lockdown and instituted a media blackout. Well, it’s more a matter of the British tabloids self-policing and not publishing any photos that would bring down the ire of the Royal Family. After all the celebrity phone-hacking depositions last year, it makes sense that they’re being cautious.
However, in reporting on this story, they need some sort of visual! And that’s where I have to applaud The Sun for getting very creative. They convinced staffer Harry Miller to drop trou and adopt the ginger prince’s now-famous junk-cupping pose, while intern Sophie Henderson played one of the naked girls hugging Harry. I don’t know enough about newspaper rules to know if it’s mere coincidence that the writer had the same name as the prince, or if they had to use a Harry in order to run that headline. Either way, it’s a cheeky little way to get around the rules, and it made me laugh.
In fact, it sounds like it could totally be the plot of a switched-identities movie: Lowly newspaper writer impersonates naked prince in tabloids, then takes his place at Buckingham Palace so he’s free to gallivant around the world playing strip billiards in every party city. It’s like The Prince and the Pauper in the internet age! You’re welcome, Hollywood.
But instead, just hours after the cover was released, people stirred up typical controversy. Mostly there were worries that 21-year-old intern Sophie had been pressured into stripping, what with her being a nubile young thing and I guess The Sun editors being a bunch of horny old men. But not to worry! Sophie and Harry released a joint statement saying that there had been no coercion and they were all in it for journalistic integrity:
“For anyone worried about whether we were forced against our will to strip off, we are pleased to be able to set the record straight. Please be assured, there is no cover-up at Wapping. It was a bit of harmless fun and we were delighted to have played our part in making the readers laugh.”
Photo: The Sun via Twitpic